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Elaine Sinnott reveals how motherhood increased her humility and appreciation for other mothers.

Judging other mothers

Therefore, you are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment. For by the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the very same things. (Romans 2:1)


I’ve realized each child God has given me has come with a big life lesson. And I know now that God gave me my first daughter as a reality check to stop judging other mothers.

I always judged mothers who “let” their toddlers throw fits in church or in a store.

“Can’t they just keep them quiet?” I’d think to myself, even as a mother already with four young boys who also wouldn’t behave well in Mass, mind you. I understood the difficulty of motherhood and yet still judged other mothers. For some reason having four children didn’t instill in me a compassion for other mothers just yet.

I would also judge mothers who brought kids out into public with dirt all over their face or clothes, or knotted, dirty hair.

“How can they take them out looking like that?” I’d shake my head in disgust.

Then I had my little red-headed daughter, Abby. And then … she turned three.


child throwing a tantrum


A Piece of Humble Pie

All these judgments of other mothers began flashing before me as I saw my little Abby behave in ways my four boys before her never behaved.

I never knew peeling a banana the wrong way could result in a cosmic meltdown. And I never knew when you say “no,” a 3-year-old girl translates it as “flash a cute smile and do it anyway.” The word “no” could also have the total opposite effect and drive her to the ground with a devastating scream as if I had told her Christmas wasn’t coming.

She also taught me that a mother can give her child a bath fifteen minutes before leaving the house, with freshly laundered clothes and squeaky clean, brushed hair, and she WILL find a way to attract dirt to every part of her body in between the walk from the house to the car.

“Never again will I judge another mother for all those things,” I told my mom one day over the phone. “God gave me a big fat piece of humble pie when he gave me that little girl.”


muddy child


Control Freak

Abby was a gift from God to also teach me I can’t be in control of every situation at every moment, the way I preferred. I used to fight tooth and nail to keep my house clean and my kids clean all the time, even with four boys ages four and under. It was a major source of anxiety for me, and I’d go into crazy mode when I “needed” to clean.

It was even an issue in my marriage. I couldn’t relax and spend time with my husband, even though he’d constantly ask me to just sit and be with him. I had to clean before I could relax. The kids needed baths before I could rest.

Once I had my number five, though, it was just impossible to keep up anymore. I finally opened my hands to the Lord instead of incessantly clenching to control.


child having a tantrum, being carried by mom


Letting Go

Never again will I look at another mother and say, “I would NEVER do that.” Having my children has taught me I absolutely WILL do that! Whether on purpose or not, I will show up in public with kids who throw fits. I will show up in public with kids wearing dirty clothes. You will absolutely see me in Sam’s Club with a trail of children behind me, all wearing shoes with toes popping out and soles falling off.

Being a mother has given me compassion for all other mothers. Children are wonderful gifts that pull us out of ourselves and instead help us think of others. They sanctify us. I’m embarrassed to admit, but won’t deny, that it’s taken a few extra children to help me begin to love and understand others than the typical person, with our sixth being born just this past April.

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Never again will I look at another mother and say, “I would NEVER do that.” Having my children has taught me I absolutely WILL do that! #catholicmom


2 women sitting on the floor and drinking coffee


Would YOU do that?

Do you find yourself judging other mothers as well, even for things that you also do? My hope is to help you understand that we as mothers need to stick together and support each other. I’ve learned that we never know the backstory of a family, so we cannot be quick to judge.

Motherhood is incredibly difficult, and judgment of each other is just another thing in this world that tears us mothers down. Satan targets mothers left and right because we are enemies of his as givers of life. It’s judgment that leads us to believe the enemy’s whispered lies we hear: “You can’t do this,” or “You’ll never be a good enough mom.”

Let’s speak truth to our mom friends, extinguish the enemy’s lies, and walk hand in hand through this difficult, incredibly beautiful journey called motherhood.

Copyright 2021 Elaine Sinnott
Images: Canva Pro